Saturday 14 September 2013


Origami is the art of making paper into different shapes but the papers are usually adept at making your views into something else.  Fr Ray Blake has recently suffered such a disgraceful origami moment where his actual words have been folded into a shape that is the opposite of what they were meant to convey.  His post on the challenge of the poor was thoughtful and faced up to the realities of dealing with the poor, instead of the usual mouthing of PC sound-bites. A reality gained from the fact that he deals with them all the time in his priestly ministry.  I believe part of the problem is that those who are considered "traditional" are, according to the new wisdom, not supposed to be engaging with any social justice issues. They are just "sacristy priests" who like dressing up with no real Gospel values. I've experienced that attitude myself - most frustratingly when I was trying to get help for some parishioners were being deported some years ago.  There are those who have lots of meetings about social justice but getting on with it is rather more important.

However, Fr Blake is in good company.  Another origami trick is the one the media are playing by continually ratcheting up the contrasts between Pope Benedict and Pope Francis.  I've ranted about this before as it really annoys me!  The general gist is that Pope Benedict was awful and Pope Francis is marvellous - illustrated by the undoubted and proven fact that Pope Benedict never kissed a baby in the crowd and Pope Francis is always kissing babies in the crowd. The other great illustration is the choice of living accommodation.
Pope Benedict NEVER kissed a baby.

The "Telegraph" was at it again yesterday in a piece about Pope Francis indulging in his own bit of origami in an Italian paper. (Laudable, according to the "Telegraph" because President Putin did it in the New York Times.  Here is an example of the usual tripe trotted out by the secular (and religious) press:
Whatever one’s faith – or lack thereof – there is no escaping the fact that Francis is emerging as a world statesman. Part of his impact in the six months since he was elected is down to the huge change in style that he has brought to his position. He has begun efforts to reform the Church’s bureaucracy, refused to live in the opulent Apostolic Palace, and even taken to “cold calling” the faithful to offer moral support – including a victim of rape and a man whose brother had been murdered. While his predecessor, Benedict XVI, seemed swamped by the challenges he faced within the Church, Pope Francis has proved to be outward-looking.
Courtesy of Catholic TV the film above depicts a "day in the life" of Pope Benedict.  I've posted it because at 23.18 minutes in, you get a glimpse of the real part of the "opulent palace" that Pope Benedict actually lived in.  Do have a look for the furniture dripping in gold leaf or the high-tech state of the art gadgetry.  In fact, some rather worn looking green velvet sofas and a rather ordinary looking telly.  When the reality doesn't suit, the papers can easily fold the truth into something else.  Pope Benedict didn't suit the secular world  - nor many so-called liberal types within the Church - so the way to bash him is to talk up Pope Francis but if we fall into following this false trail, we encourage the sowing of division within the Church.  Apart from that, all distortion of the truth has only one origin and it's one that Pope Francis has spoken about quite a lot - Satan!

Sadly, as Fr Blake has also commented on, many ordinary Catholics base their views not on what the Church or the priest says but on the media origami.  I've a feeling this applies to the vast majority of spiritual and moral issues.

1 comment:

Rhoslyn said...

Ah, that was a lovely little programme.